Microbes are a major factor in the environment. They can be found everywhere from the bottom of oceans to inside humans and they play many roles that make our world work well. For example, microbes break down dead animals so they don’t just rot and stink up everything around them – instead, these bacteria turn them into fertilizers for plants to grow on.
On top of this, some microbes even produce vitamins we need like vitamin K and B12. Without these little guys, we’d have no way to get enough nutrients!
Learning about how microbes help us gives you a new appreciation for the tiny creatures that are always there around us.
What are Microbes?
Microbes aren’t quite what you think of when you think about ‘living’. They’re much smaller than humans, plants, and animals. You have trillions of these one-celled organisms in your body all the time even though you can’t see them!
These microbes are so small that they don’t have nucleii. That’s why they’re called prokaryotic cells. Instead, they have DNA floating around in their cell. But don’t let this make you think these guys aren’t important! Even something as small and simple as the bacteria on plants is critical for its survival.
How do Microbes Work?
Microbes get energy from the sun. In fact, they’re really good at it! A single bacterium produces as much energy in a day as 10,000 plants do!
Some microbes eat other things and turn them into useful stuff for animals. For example, some bacteria break down tough plant fibers so that ruminant animals like cows can digest them better.
Microbes do a lot of work that we can’t see. They make soil healthy and clean up toxic chemicals in the water. Some microbes even help us to fight diseases like MRSA!
You might not notice them, but microbes are there doing important work all around you.
You’ve learned about the many things microbes do for us every day. There’s a lot of diversity among the millions of different kinds of bacteria and even more other types of microorganisms (like protists).
As scientists continue to learn about these tiny creatures, even more discoveries are being made. These guys play a huge role in the environment, and we would be nowhere without them!